In Loving Memory of Mike deGruy

Honoring Mike deGruy

Mike deGruy: A Dreamer Who Did

December 29, 1951 – February 4, 2012

Mike deGruy, husband, father, son, brother, friend, mentor, teacher, and global inspiration, died in a tragic accident on February 4 while working on a film
project in Australia. If desired, contributions in honor of his life may be made to Santa Barbara Middle School (805.563.9781), Heal the Ocean (805.965.7570), and the Mobile Bay Keeper (888.433.4460).

Donations made to Santa Barbara Middle School will be used to support Channel Islands education and curriculum and a scholarship fund in honor of Mike deGruy.


Dear SBMS family,
We lost a dearly loved member of our SBMS community on February 4.  Parent, husband, teacher, dreamer, explorer and friend, Mike DeGruy, died in a helicopter crash in Australia while working on a new film project.

Mike, who helped find the new campus for SBMS, annually keynoted 9th Grade Leadership Day and inspired every 9th grade student and staff on our Channel Islands Expeditions. Mike was also known around the world for his photography, documentary film making, and passionate defense of nature, animals and of our oceans.  

Mike had an incredible sense of adventure, a wicked sense of humor, and the knack for telling stories that became larger than life. Michael's contributions to our community and planet were only eclipsed by his love for his wife Mimi, and their children Frances and Max.
Being in Michael's company and watching him work with kids, capture the world on film, or share his life's passions and adventures, was like lying on the grass looking up at 4th of July fireworks raining down epiphanies, possibilities, laughter and light.
e.e. cummings wrote, "For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it's always ourselves we find in the sea."
I cannot picture Michael without thinking of the ocean, laughing out loud remembering his latest joke or prank. I can't help feeling that because Mike showed us how to live an inspired life, there is hope for us all.

Because Michael loved the ocean and beach walks with his family, we have placed a basket outside his front door and one in the SBMS office. We invite you and your family to collect shells, beach rocks, and ocean treasures and leave a special ocean memento and/or note for the deGruys.
With much love and sadness, 
Brian McWilliams

To learn more about Mike's work, passion, and contributions to the world and our oceans, visit Mike's site | TED Talk Noozhawk Article | SBMS Teen Press Interview

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